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Parents clueless about emergency care for food allergy

Posted:  Thursday, March 17, 2016

Parents inexperienced in handling food allergy emergencies

Parents are unaware of emergency care for kids with food allergy! Children are more likely to develop food allergies than adults, and in about half of them, the allergic reaction can take on a severe form. A new study has indicated that doctors may compound this problem by not discussing emergency care with the parents.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, surveyed 859 parents of children with food allergies. The goal of the study was to shed light on the preparedness of parents in handling food allergy emergencies in children and the role played by doctors in this regard.

The researchers found that doctors often neglect discussing emergency care for food allergies with parents. Many parents were clueless about when and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector. Moreover, they did not they have a written emergency plan from their child's allergist or paediatrician.

The study author, Dr Ruchi Gupta, an associate professor in paediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago explained, "Physicians need to make sure patients understand when and how to use epinephrine and that they have an emergency action plan. Physicians need to make sure patients understand. These points need to be hammered home by the physician at every visit.”

The study highlights the communication gap between the physicians and parents when it comes to food allergies in kids. Potentially life saving information could be disseminated to parents through development of action plans for tackling food allergies in kids. Detailed instructions to parents about the appropriate injection of epinephrine could prevent adverse outcomes among kids with food allergies.

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